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  1. #1
    Registered User chargrill44's Avatar
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    Best alternative for barbell bench press

    I was wondering what the best alternative for a barbell bench press is because I do not have a spotter and I always hesitate going all out using a bench with no spotter.

    I recently dropped doing barbell incline presses for dumbbell incline presses and that has been a good switch.

    Is the obvious the same for the flat bench press? Should I do the dumbbell flat bench press or is there another dumbbell press/exercise that is superior to use w/o the need of a spotter..
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  2. #2
    Firefighter/Medic Crudehumor's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by chargrill44 View Post
    I was wondering what the best alternative for a barbell bench press is because I do not have a spotter and I always hesitate going all out using a bench with no spotter.

    I recently dropped doing barbell incline presses for dumbbell incline presses and that has been a good switch.

    Is the obvious the same for the flat bench press? Should I do the dumbbell flat bench press or is there another dumbbell press/exercise that is superior to use w/o the need of a spotter..
    I would never just drop BB flat bench, but alternating between DB flat/DB neutral press/BB flat seems to work pretty well for me.
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  3. #3
    Registered User chargrill44's Avatar
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    Cool, I will try to just mix it up. I was getting frustrated that I sort of stalled and was reversing on my BB lifts but didn't want to push it because I don't want to be trapped and racks make me feel awkward. Maybe some variety will get things going again.
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  4. #4
    Squats do a body good! musicianman's Avatar
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    I stopped doing BB flats for about a month and prioritized my inclines and overhead presses (BB), and started adding in some flat/incline DB work. My benching today felt better than it ever has before.

    It seems like the difference in weight between your DB max and BB max is going to be really significant, but your chest works a lot harder with DB's than it does on BB (at least it did for me).
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  5. #5
    Encyclochuzzle chazzy1864's Avatar
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    If you feel paralyzed getting under a BB to do flat bench without a spotter, then yes, switch to DBs, smith machine, machine chest press, or weighted parallel bar dips.

    Or just, you know, do the bench chest with a barbell without a spotter. It isn't anything hard. If you fail, slowly lower the weight to your chest and roll it to your waist and sit up. The easiest way to avoid failing though, is to not try for new 1RM's by yourself, and know your body so you know when you won't get another full rep up.
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  6. #6
    Registered User Jeclavad's Avatar
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    As already said by Musicianman, DB flat bench, if doing properly, is far more effective for the chest.

    Try weighted dips or gironda dips if you don't have shoulders issues (these are killer imo).
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  7. #7
    Registered User Jippo's Avatar
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    After my last powerlifting meet and deciding i just wanted to work on getting strong in various lifts for my own amusement i completely abandoned benching. I genuinely don't find it a useful exercise for anything other than being tested for bench pressing. Weighted dips are far superior in my opinion.
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  8. #8
    Registered User wallyworld34's Avatar
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    no spotter? smith machine.
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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by Jeclavad View Post
    Try weighted dips or gironda dips if you don't have shoulders issues (these are killer imo).
    +1 dips are ftw
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  10. #10
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    Your best alternative is Flat Dumbell Bench Press, or Hammer Strength Chest Press IMO.
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  11. #11
    Registered User Mattman1217's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by keeko View Post
    +1 dips are ftw
    +2
    Get a dip/chin belt so you can add weight as needed.
    You can move more weight with dips than bench too.
    Great strength work.
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  12. #12
    "go clap your own cheeks" KLOMPUS's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mattman1217 View Post
    +2
    Get a dip/chin belt so you can add weight as needed.
    You can move more weight with dips than bench too.
    Great strength work.
    +3 for chest dips, and some dumbbell benching afterward ftw
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    Originally Posted by chargrill44 View Post
    I was wondering what the best alternative for a barbell bench press is because I do not have a spotter and I always hesitate going all out using a bench with no spotter.

    I recently dropped doing barbell incline presses for dumbbell incline presses and that has been a good switch.

    Is the obvious the same for the flat bench press? Should I do the dumbbell flat bench press or is there another dumbbell press/exercise that is superior to use w/o the need of a spotter..
    What are your over all goals?

    Honestly you can really work your chest effectively with dumbbell flys if you are that concerned with safety. Dumbbell bench press with flys is completely sufficient

    I understand what you are thinking, i benched for YEARS by myself and its not always a comfortable feeling when you want to push hard and don't have a spotter. I was still able to bench as long as i paid attention to how fatigued each rep made the muscles and if i knew i could get another rep. at that time i was focused on rep quality rather than how much weight i used
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  14. #14
    Registered User chargrill44's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the feedback. I am going to start doing DB presseses and weighted dips for a month and monitor my results (along with DB inclines, pullups etc I also do for chest).
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    Originally Posted by chargrill44 View Post
    I was wondering what the best alternative for a barbell bench press is because I do not have a spotter and I always hesitate going all out using a bench with no spotter.

    I recently dropped doing barbell incline presses for dumbbell incline presses and that has been a good switch.

    Is the obvious the same for the flat bench press? Should I do the dumbbell flat bench press or is there another dumbbell press/exercise that is superior to use w/o the need of a spotter..
    The dumbbell chest press is actually better than the barbell because it allows you to go slightly in at the top of the movement. They say this is many videos aswell. So you get the full benefit of the exercise with the dumbbells.
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